It's the first day of schooooooollllll!

Hi. Remember me?

I took a hiatus. I quit smoking on Oct 29th and went completely cuckoo bananas on food for the past few months (we’ll get to that at a later date). I’ve gained fifteen pounds. Fifteen pounds that I have absolutely no interest in. It’s not happy weight. And, with a new year, I wanted to try something new, so I joined The BodyLab. You’ve seen the articles we’ve run about Jesse Morreale, right (Rockbar, Q&A, El Diablo, etc.)? This is one of his ventures, too, with head lifestyle engineer and owner Matt D’Amico. Basically, Matt kicked Jesse’s ass so successfully, they thought they’d give birth to a gym together. Righteous (that’s a meathead word).

Matt’s going to be my boy through this process, but you’ll be introduced to many other…Professors of Hot Body Making, as well. At The BodyLab, the lifestyle engineers are cloned to be interchangeable when necessary. So, everyone can get what we need from any of them—this is useful if you can’t always make the same session. Word, BodyLab. That’s real, real nice.

But, let’s start from the top. An actual reason exists as to why this blog is called The School of Sweat Hot. I just became a freshman, a co-ed (No more girls-only shtuff. Hello, testosterone.). Except, maybe I should call it a first year grad student? In theory, I have a nice base of knowledge beneath me. But, I have all sorts of unresolved wants and needs. Much like a college frosh has to figure out how to do laundry, do homework, feed themselves, clean and party, I have to figure out to do laundry, do homework, feed myself, clean and party…and work out like a fucking maniac. What I’m really searching for is balance. Or, happiness–a blue bird on my shoulder. Sigh.

And, just like there’s something sexy about college despite its absolute normalcy, The BodyLab is the same way. Maybe it’s the sign on the showers encouraging people to conserve water and shower together (I wonder if this actually has happened? It’s not a sexual place, by any means), or maybe it’s the fact that the two trainers I’ve worked out with, Matt and Tyler, cuss a lot and say hilarious things while you’re working out (I feel like I might be the only one who is actually listening to their jokes…sort of like my comp class, where two hundred kids stared blankly at the professor when he decided to bring his barbershop quartet in for a performance. Based on the other students’ reactions, I’m 99 percent sure I was the only one who realized this was happening. Today, Matt was saying he beats us because he loves us. The other day, Tyler was saying, “This song is about heroin. Pretty heavy stuff for your Saturday morning workout. Great song. Really sad.” I was so high off my workout I didn’t even catch what song it was…). But, maybe it’s more primal than that. Men + women + lots of sweat and panting = hot. Whatever…I’m sure over the course (get it?) of my tenure (get it? get it?) at The BodyLab I’ll be able to generate plenty of similarly mind blowing equations–so don’t worry.

I will be hot, I will be hot, I will be hot.

So, in high school, you had to jump through all sorts of hoops but only like one teacher of like six actually seemed to like give a shit about your education. The main thing was that if you were going from high school straight into the job market, you knew the power of punctuality and you knew how to take it from authority figures. People were ready to bust you–like a dentist who’s discovered you’re not flossing every day…or ever–just flexing their power muscle to vindicate some deep affliction inside.  I like teachers, but you know the type I’m talking about. Then, you get to college and the professors are teaching to the top 10 percent of the class (not the bottom dwellers) and flunking you if you fall short (versus coaxing you to pass so that their standardized tests and averages are okay) without warning. They’re like, “Don’t waste my time with your bull shit, you impotent little weasel. ” Okay, that’s where BodyLab is more like grad school. Those who aren’t serious need not apply. There’s no point in signing up for grad school if you have no intention of mastering the subject matter. “The BodyLab doesn’t just take the tuition payment and let you fail.  We make sure you’re holding up your end of the bargain,” Matt says. “It takes a lot of time and work to reverse deeply rooted behavior patterns that need permanent correction in order to make a lasting change and produce a ‘graduate’ (somebody who’s never again going to fluctuate more than about 3-5 pounds).” Hehem, fifteen pounds of flux so far from me. This is why I’m still just a freshman. But, a drop out, I am not.

That's Matt. And, that's me having the time of my life.

Let’s return to ciggy butts, for a hot minute. I quit smoking and went astray. Despite showing myself one of the biggest acts of kindness I ever could by ditching that nastiness, I also stopped showing myself the respect I deserve by going overboard with other things (things = food). And, isn’t diabetes more dangerous than cigarettes? It seems that way to me. And, like a true graduate, I’m not going to verify that fact for fear that I might debunk something I really need to believe right now. Anyway, I walked into The BodyLab, got on the treadmill and fantasized about how awesome I will look by my thirtieth birthday in July. How nothing will control me. I felt powerful. Resolute. But, then, low and behold, my first BodyLab workout entailed smoking a fitness cigarette. A combination of sprinting and jumping and squatting and stress combine to make your lungs tight as hell. I was still wheezing six hours later. It’s funny how everything comes full circle and how certain coincidences can help you feel like you’re on the right path. So, my hiatus started with ciggs and is ending with them, too. Serendipitous to say the least.

If you want to learn more about where I’m working out, click here.



Laura Standley has been editor in chief of 303 Magazine since 2007.  To read her past blog entries, click here.